Tutorial: how to make a shower curtain

Making a shower curtain from your own fabric is a really simple project.  This tutorial is in two parts.  Part one will deal with creating the fabric curtain.

First, measure your space. You need to know how wide the tub is (usually 72-74″) and how long you want your curtain.

To get your width, measure your tub space. You have several design choices to make at this point. You can simply measure your shower curtain liner and make your curtain the same width. This will result in a more tailored looking curtain.  You can use your curtain liner as a template to mark off the holes for the curtain rings onto your fabric curtain.

If you want more fullness in your fabric shower curtain, you have several options. You can multiply the tub width by 1 1/2 or even 2x the width to get a more gathered looking curtain.

Generally speaking, your shower curtain liner will have holes for 12 curtain rings.  To create the hole spaces for your fuller fabric shower curtain, you can take your full curtain width and divide that measurement evenly to accommodate the 12 holes. This plan keeps the full width of the curtain protected by the liner, but you might find some of the fabric curtain drooping in between the rings when the curtain is closed.

Another option for the fuller fabric shower curtain is to space 12 holes to line up with the shower curtain liner, then add extra holes for additional curtain rings to account for the extra width of the fabric curtain. The curtain will then extend beyond the curtain liner at either or both ends.

To get the length, I hung one of my shower curtain rings, then measured from the bottom of that down to the floor. Take that number (X”) and add 1/2″ to that measurement to account for the part of the curtain that extends beyond the top of the grommet and into the curtain ring itself (X” plus 1/2″). Now, subtract 1″ from the bottom edge of the curtain hem, to keep the curtain up off of the potentially wet floor (X” plus 1/2″ minus 1″). Finally, add 3″ for the top edge (2 x 1 1/2″– you will end up with 3 thicknesses of fabric at the top edge of your curtain), and 3″ for the bottom hem.

To recap the length: measure from curtain ring to floor, add 5 1/2″ to get your total length, including the top and bottom hems.

Once you have the proper width (sewing lengths together as needed) and length, you will sew the outer edge hems (or leave them as selvedges, if that aesthetic is okay).  I press about 1/2″, then fold that over and press again, then top-stitch.  Repeat for the other edge.

For the top edge, press 1 1/2″ all along the width of the curtain.  Fold over, and press again, then top- stitch.  You should now have 3 thicknesses of fabric, with a 1 1/2″ hem at the top edge.

For the bottom edge, press 1/2″ all along the width of the curtain.  Fold over 2 1/2″, press, then top stitch.   Note:  I usually wait to hem the bottom after the curtain has been hanging in place for a week, to let the fabric relax and stretch if it’s going to.

Up next:  grommets!  With photos!!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Tutorial: how to make a shower curtain

  1. Doreen Kinkade

    Love you beautiful new bathroom. And the custom shower curtain is awesome!!

  2. Lindsey

    Hi! I was wondering what you used for a liner. I’d prefer to stay away from the PVC versions, and the fabric ones can be quite expensive! Any recommendations, if I were to make my own?

    Thanks! Great blog!

  3. stephany

    Lindsey,
    If you use 100% hemp fabric for your curtain, you will not have to use a liner of any sort. Hemp is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, so it will not mildew or mold. It will get wet, but air dries fine. Washing every couple of weeks or once a month is recommended. Hope this helps!

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